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Cardiff hopes hit as Roberts ruled out by knee injury

LEINSTER will have a clutch of Grand Slam winners to contend with when they run out against Cardiff in their Heineken Cup quarter-final clash on Saturday, but Lions star Jamie Roberts will not be among them after the centre was ruled out for six months with a knee injury.

"I'm pretty devastated to be missing this weekend's match against Leinster, our biggest match of the season," said Roberts.

"I originally injured my knee playing against Racing Metro after the World Cup.

"I was able to rehab my knee well enough to get me through a handful of games for the Blues and the Grand Slam campaign with Wales, but following my injury in the match against Glasgow on Friday night, I've been advised by the knee surgeon that my knee is now not stable enough to continue playing."

Roberts is due to undergo surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament later this week and is not expected to be fit to return to playing until October, ruling him out of Wales' summer tour to Australia.

Dafydd Hewitt and Gavin Evans are the front-line candidates to fill Roberts' No 12 jersey at Lansdowne Road, with Cardiff due to announce their team on Friday.

Gavin Henson's dismissal for drunken behaviour on the flight from Glasgow last weekend further reduces Cardiff's backline resources, but they can still call on Grand Slam winners Leigh Halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert.

Wales captain and Cardiff flanker Sam Warburton backed the club's decision to dismiss Henson yesterday, saying: "Players may laugh when someone calls them a role model but that is what they are, some still think they can behave like their friends might down the local pub.

"For me, winning a Grand Slam, something hardly anyone will experience, is priceless compared to having to sacrifice a bit of alcohol once in a blue moon.

"So I just think, why bother? Gavin has now left the Blues, and the Blues could still potentially win the Heineken Cup."

Irish Independent